Category - Major Events
Where to Play in Western New York During PGA Championship Week
By Brendon Elliott, PGA
Ravenwood Golf Course
The anticipation for this year's PGA Championship at Oak Hill Country Club is at a fevered pitch.
Golf fans from all over the globe will make their way to Rochester, New York, this week to watch the strongest international field in major championship golf tee it up on the renovated and renowned East Course.
While the best in the world battle at Oak Hill, there are some great options for fans to play, too, in and around Rochester.
Below are some of the excellent public courses in and around Rochester, broken down in proximity to the host of the 2023 PGA Championship..
Under 30 minutes from Oak Hill
Durand Eastman Golf Course
(20 minutes from Oak Hill; 18 holes with a cart: $33)
Run by Monroe County Parks, Durand Eastman is a true municipal facility. And what a treat it is at an absurdly reasonable rate.
Designed by the legendary Robert Trent Jones Sr, Durand Eastman Golf Course is an 18-hole championship course in a park setting. The course is a par 70 from the Blue/White/Gold tees and a par 72 from the Red tees, stretching from 5,198-6,033 yards.
Like many upstate and western New York courses, Durand Eastman boasts a rolling landscape with large tree-lined fairways and numerous creeks and ponds, offering something for all skill levels.
Records show that there was a 9-hole course in Durand Eastman Park in 1917 — the third public golf course in Rochester, which was one of the first cities in the United States to provide public golf facilities. The city’s first course was created in 1899 with nine holes at Genesee Valley Park. https://monroecountyparksgolf.com/durand-eastman/
Ravenwood Golf Course
(20 minutes from Oak Hill; 18 holes w/ cart is $49 -$60+)
One of the area's beloved public access courses. Ravenwood is an award-winning 18-hole course located just minutes from Oak Hill. Golf Digest selected Ravenwood as the country's fifth-ranked "Best New Public Course” in 2003. The course has hosted countless USGA & PGA qualifiers and was the host of the 2003 an ‘09 New York Men's Amateur Golf Championships.
The course tips out at roughly 7,100 yards, with those tees playing to a difficult 74.7 rating and 144 slope. But with five sets of tees, ranging from 7,100 and on down to 4,900, the course is a fair for all skill levels.
Beyond the course, Ravenwood offers a fantastic practice facility, with a popular lighted all-grass tee driving range and instruction programs from PGA Coaches for those in need of a tune-up. This is a must-play when you are in the Rochester area.
The Links at Greystone
(25 minutes from Oak Hill; 18 holes w/ cart: $75 during PGA, $60 for non-PGA)
Golf course architect Craig Schreiner's gem opened in 1996 as a breathtaking 18 hole links-style course with rolling hills, tall native grasses, pot bunker and large undulating greens.
The rolling, forested land is ideal for golf, soaked with ponds and wetlands. Schreiner shaped massive greens with multiple tiers and wild swinging breaks, so missing the green in the right spot is almost always better than hitting the green in the wrong one.
Playing to a par 72 and 7,215 yards from the championship tees, the Links at Greystone plays to a course rating of 74.3 and slope of 130. Greystone offers four sets of tees, so the course is very playable for every golfer.
Under 45 minutes from Oak Hill
Charleston Pines at Lima Golf & Country Club
(40 minutes from Oak Hill. 18 holes w/ cart is $40 -$60)
Surrounded by the beautiful Bristol Mountains, the Charleston Pines course at Lima Golf & Country Club is another must-play while in the Greater Rochester area. Built in 1962 by architect John S. Checho Sr., the 18 hole championship course offers five sets of tees, ranging between 6,952-4,889 yards.
Regardless of skill level, every golfer will have a great time as they make their way through the natural beauty that can only be found in western New York state.
Lima Golf and Country Club also boasts a second, newer 18-hole layout called Island Oaks, which was built in 1995 by John Checho. The course is a bit shorter than Charleston Pines, measuring between 6,102-4,554 yards.
As someone born and raised in central New York myself but having left for Florida in 1996 to work in the golf business, I still often long for the beauty of golf in New York state. The Greater Rochester area has some gorgeous golf so If you’re in town this week for the PGA Championship and can sneak out for some golf, it will be well worth your time.